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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun and Ken Hathaway

Ian Machado Garry plans to ‘retire’ Colby Covington after UFC 298

IRVINE, Calif. – Ian Machado Garry will go after Colby Covington with a win at UFC 298.

Garry (13-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meets Geoff Neal (15-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on Saturday’s main card (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+) at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Garry sees former three-time title challenger and ex-interim champion Covington (17-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) as his ticket to the top.

“I want to beat Geoff Neal in spectacular fashion this weekend, then I’m going to fight Colby Covington, and I’m going to retire him, and I’m going to rid the clown from the UFC,” Garry said at Wednesday’s UFC 298 media day. “Then I’ll take someone (ranked) three, two or one in the world, I’ll beat them, and I’ll earn my title shot next year.”

Covington did express interest in fighting Garry, but the undefeated rising star is confident he’ll get his way regardless.

“I think he (Covington) has no other choice,” Garry said. “When I beat Geoff Neal on Saturday, there’s only one choice, and it’s what I say.”

Fighting Covington would be a double incentive for Garry. He’s not a fan of the way Covington and former middleweight champion Sean Strickland have been marketing themselves.

“I’ll still talk sh*t, that’s the person I am,” Garry said. “I’ll talk sh*t. You want to clap at me, I’ll clap back. That’s how I’ve grown up. That’s the way me and my friends grew up, but there’s a line. There’s a line on what you say and what you do, and it’s not trash to call my wife a pedophile or say my kid isn’t even mine.

“That’s not trash talk. That’s abuse. That’s horrible, and no person on the planet deserves that. I feel like we’ve seen it recently, and the two main culprits are f*cking Colby and Sean Strickland. Colby bringing up Leon (Edwards’) dad and Sean just being negative toward every single person possible. It shows a very dark age in MMA, and this is not what the sport’s about.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

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